Second language classroom should be highly interactive no matter the methods you are using. There should be some time devoted to interaction between the teacher and the learners, and to interaction among the learners as well.
Even though teachers try to treat students fairly, they end up interacting with some students more than the others. This creates the teacher's action zone.
Therefore where active participation is important, those in the teacher's action zone benefit the most.
Also learners need to learn how to interact in the classroom and it is called as a learner's interactional competence. 1) knowing the etiquette of classroom interaction 2)knowing the rules for individual and collaborative work 3) knowing when to ask and answer questions 4) knowing how and when to get assistance or feedback in completing a task 5) knowing appropriate rules for displaying knowledge
There are different patterns of interaction in a class due to students' personalities and their different cognitive styles, students can be divided into six categories of task-oriented students, phantom students, social students, dependent students, isolated students and alienated students.
Lastly, teachers can choose grouping arrangements according to the tasks and the kind of lesson. They are whole-class teaching, individual work, pair work and group work.
Week7: Richards and Lockhart(1996), Chapter 7 Interaction
Reflection on Grouping Arrangement and Interaction
I critically looked over my teaching based on grouping arrangement and interaction. With regard to the grouping arrangement, I prefer dynamic grouping in class. I analyze my grouping related with the mainstream of the lesson. In my class, students greet each other within 30 seconds in whole class, then, they review words and pictures using cards in pairs. After that, students review the previous lesson in whole class, then they do the main activity in groups or pairs and finally they write a log individually. Lastly, I give comment and homework in whole class. These days, I focus on pair work than group work. Last year, I almost applied group activities to the students. For example, I set multi level groups including 1 high, 2 middle, and 1 low proficiency students in a group. High level students were peer tutors of low level students. Except that a few high able students were not interested in teaching or helping low level students, the grouping was effective because high able students supported other members well. However I didn’t use pair work much last year. Thus, this year, I’m trying to apply more pair work to lessons. So far, pair work has successfully done for Bingo game, many types of card game, exercise a dialogue, and wheel game. In the end of this year, I’d like to have a sense to tell which activities are good for groups or pair work. Next, I found that my interaction is very limited. When I checked students’ homework, I usually interact with everyone. I interact with less able students, trouble makers, and volunteers. However, I miss high level or middle level but not active students even though they are majority who leads the class to a good and positive mood. To get more specific information of interaction between the students and myself, I’ll keep check my interaction this week using a seating chart, especially about how interactive I am with trouble maker(T), high level(H), middle(M), Low(L), Volunteer(V), not active(NA), and active(A) students. In conclusion, I realized that I should keep nteracting more and often with my students.
Wk8. Interaction in the second language classroom
Second language learning is based on active interaction between the teacher and students or students and students. Even though the teacher is supposed to treat every single student equally and fairly, he or she gets to interact with certain students more than others due to the teacher’s action zone. Teachers tend to have their own personal action zones, and students within the teacher’s action zone are more likely to be involved in active participation than those outside the zone.
Students also need to learn what is expected of them in terms of interaction in the classroom, interactional competence. For example, students learn the etiquette of classroom interaction, that is, appropriate classroom behaviors. Additionally, they need to learn when to work individually or collaboratively, when to ask and answer questions, how to get assistance in times of need, and how to present their knowledge in the classroom etc.
Due to individual differences in students’ personalities and individual cognitive styles, students can be categorized into six different interactional patterns (task-oriented students, phantom students, social students, dependent students, isolated students, and alienated students).
Every class, the teacher needs to choose grouping arrangements considering the kind of lesson, students’ needs, proficiency, etc. There are four kinds of arrangements, whole-class teaching in which the teacher initiates, leads, and ends the whole class, individual work in which each student works individually to complete tasks, pair work in which students cooperate with a partner to complete tasks, and group work in which students work in either small or big groups.
In chapter 7 of Reflective Teaching in Second Language Classrooms, Richards and Lockhart (1996) put on emphasis on how important interaction is in language classrooms. In explaining the nature of classroom interaction and how teachers can influence the kind of interaction that occurs in their own classrooms, they divide the chapter into four big segments: 1) teacher’s action zone, 2) interactional competence 3) learner’s interactional patterns, and 4) grouping arrangements.
This chapter was very helpful in that it helped me reflect on my GEP classrooms as well as my other language classes. I realized that I could have my own action zone and that I could not be giving my students equal chance to interact. Learning about the different dimensions of classroom behavior was also beneficial in that it made me reflect on myself whether I was clear on letting my students learn how they are expected to interact in our classroom. The six different interactional patterns of learners that the chapter introduced gave me some time to think about my GEP little sisters and my other students. I thought about what kind of students they are in regards to interactional patterns and which kind of interactional styles each of them would favor and disfavor. The section about grouping arrangements helped me to think about how I could arrange my classroom in advance. It was a good opportunity for me to organize my thought about grouping arrangement and learn about the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Richards and Lockhart (1996)
Chapter 7. Interaction in the second language classroom
A lot of time is actually allotted to classroom interaction between the teacher and the learners, and among the learners themselves. Although teacher try to pay attention evenly to all the students, it is true that teachers sometimes interact with some students more frequently than others. It can be explained with a term ‘teacher’s action zone’, which refers to the students with whom the teacher regularly interacts or enters into eye contact. I remember I always tried to be in the teacher’s zone up until I was in college. I was a social student according to Good and Power’s (1976) six different interactional patterns. In my first and second year of teaching, I preferred task-oriented or social students, not carefully paying attention to phantom, dependent, and isolated students. I tried to focus how to keep hard-working students from alienated or bad behavior students. As I get more experienced, I realized that I need to concern how to make a good harmony using appropriate group work. In order to do that, grouping strategy is very crucial to play and for some students, individual work or pair works worked more effective. I always feel needs to experience whole-class teaching to learn the managerial techniques to larger group Most of times, I use small group work or pair work. I learned especially pair works is effective in draw on learners’ linguistic resources in a low-affective filter situation. In conclusion, interactional dynamics of a lesson can facilitate teaching and learning. Teacher has a responsibility to best use of different kinds of group arrangements considering students’ characteristics of learning or cognitive style or pattern.
Interaction is the key element Especially in the second language classroom, but the most difficult part I feel in the classroom even as a quite experienced teacher is interaction. It was interesting to read the different notes from teacher's point of view and from the observer's point of view. Despite the teacher's effort and intention, there are students who are excluded from the interaction, or out of the action zone of the teacher's. It is also important that not only the teacher but also the learners should take some charge of interaction, that is, to develop interactional competence. The learners should be aware of the rules they are expected to follow in order to participate appropriately in lessons, such as rules for classroom behavior, for individual and collaborative work, when to ask and answer questions, how and when to get assistance or feed back in completing a task, and when to display knowledge of their own. Because there are different types of interaction patterns to the learner styles and preferences the interactional dynamics of a classroom are largely a product of choices the teacher makes about the learning arrangements he sets up within a lesson. Choosing grouping arrangements that are appropriate for specific learning tasks is an important decision. Richard and Lockharts enumerated the advantages and the disadvantages of different grouping arrangements and concluded that pair work and group work are the necessities for for developing both linguistic and communicative competence. In principle, I totally agree with the authors, but in reality, it depends too much on the skills of the teacher that there should be more practical on the spot training for the second language teachers, instead of emphasizing the necessity ( this is not for the authors but for the education administrators)
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